Bias In Balanced Media Essay

2015 words - 9 pages

Bias in Balanced Media
In traditional American media, we as viewers have given mass media expectations to meet in order to meet our demands. Specifically when it comes to tv news, newspapers or any other journalistic product, we want certain ideals to be expressed in their works. One of these ideals is the balance of these newsgroups. We expect them to be nonpartisan and neutral, providing equal coverage of either side without having any form of bias towards one end. The other ideal is leading the people towards the path of "enlightenment" . We expect the media to be the knights against the powerful, to support the weak and lead them to the truth. Problems arise however when trying to practice these two ideals together The problem is that it is essentially a cover up for journalist, where we the viewers who expect these ideals are shown to us, yet the journalist can still take a side without literally stating it. When news tries to live to either one of these ideals or both, it no longer becomes the neutral or leading information figure that the public can trust. It results with either a slanted perspective or a deceiving output of information.
Media’s attempt to implement these two ideal results in what Ross Douthat states as “bipartisanthink”. “[...] journalist fetishize centrism and deal making, and assume that the best of all possible legislation, regardless of its actual content [...]”(Douthat 86). Bipartisanthink is the idea that a journalist takes the best arguments or agreements from sides of the party to appear neutral as well as informative. They show themselves to be equal showing both sides, and by taking the compromise of the two, they show their side of progression towards a better future. However these two ideals cannot for the most part coexist with one another. “[...] bipartisanthink allows journalist to take sides and root for particular outcomes without having to explicitly choose sides.” (Douthat 86) This action is usually seen on fiscal issues, as “ bipartisanthink irritates liberals more than conservatives, because liberals sense [...]that many of the media personalities talking up [...]”(Douthat 86) but feel a professional obligation not to admit it.” News companies cannot guide people towards what they think is the truth without taking a side. An example of this bipartisanthink is noted by Douthat and the issue on “war on women” with abortion being the main subtopic. The news attempted to remain neutral in the discussion by bringing in two writers, one from USA Today and the other from GetReligion, to speak about the grisly case of a doctor who would snip the spinal cord of a late term abortion(Douthat 86). It is obvious that the press was aiming against abortion, using such an extreme example, and without stating it to use such an example to enlighten the viewers that abortion is bad. However stating so would no longer make them neutral, making them bring in two “different parties” to discuss such a topic,writers...

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